8 Million Undocumented Immigrants Could Be Removed By President’s Executive Orders
President Donald Trump is poised to deport up to 8 million undocumented immigrants across the nation after overhauling immigration law enforcement during his first week in office through a series of executive orders that could empower police officers to act as immigration officials. In short, anyone without proper documentation could be deported, including people who receive public assistance, such as food stamps or free lunch at school, a Los Angeles Times analysis published Saturday found.
(Yahoo) –There are other consequences, as well. The deportations could hurt families, businesses with immigrant customers and agriculture and other industries that depend on undocumented laborers. The U.S.’ ties to Latin American nations could be stained and the Social Security system, which benefits from immigrants paying into the system, would lose money.
“We are going back to enforcement chaos — they are going to give lip service to going after criminals, but they really are going to round up everybody they can get their hands on,” said David Leopold, a former president of the American Immigration Lawyers Assn. and an immigration lawyer for more than two decades.
Trump’s orders allow police officers to deport people convicted of crimes or believed to have committed “acts that constitute a chargeable criminal offense.” That could lead to 6 million people being deported because they entered the U.S. without passing through an official border crossing.
Meanwhile, of the nation’s 11 million undocumented immigrants, 8 million work illegally, and Trump’s order would remove anyone who lied on federal employment forms. Other immigrants who could be targeted include those who used a fake identity card drove without a license. Any undocumented immigrant who might use Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program would also be sent away.
“It’s not that 6 million people are priorities for removal, it is the dangerous criminals hiding among those millions who are no longer able to hide,” a White House official told the Los Angeles Times. “We’ve gone from a situation where ICE officers have no discretion to enhance public safety and their hands are totally tied, to allowing ICE officers to engage in preventative policing and to go after known public safety threats and stop terrible crimes from happening.”
In contrast, former President Barack Obama’s administration only listed 1.4 million people as priorities for deportation proceedings.
A federal judge’s order blocked Trump’s ban on travel from seven Muslim-majority nations. The Department of Homeland Security said it would comply but would take steps to challenge the ruling “at the earliest possible time.”
“(Trump’s order) is intended to protect the homeland and the American people, and the president has no higher duty and responsibility than to do so,” acting DHS press secretary Gillian Christensen said when announcing the suspension.
The State Department said roughly 60,000 visas were revoked since the signing of the order in January. The ban affects people from Iraq, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen and indefinitely halts refugees from Syria.